The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

110 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
an officer in George A. Custer's Seventh Cavalry. Only a few months
after the Barnitzes arrived at Fort Riley, Kansas, new Indian troubles
sent Albert into the field and Jennie home to Cleveland. Over the next
year and a half the Barnitz's lively, perceptive, and often critical diaries
and correspondence spell out in vivid and articulate detail the contra-
dictions of frontier military life. Albert's accounts of the Hancock and
Sully expeditions and the attack on Black Kettle's village on the Washita
are detailed in excerpts from his journal and reports to Jennie. So, too,
are his opinions of Custer-"unworthy of the respect of all right minded
men" (p. 52); his brother officers-many of them "are confirmed inebri-
ates" (p. 203); and government policy-"It is certainly foolish to fight
Indians with one hand and ... give them arms with the other" (p. 95).
Unfortunately, Jennie's frontier experiences were short lived and her
contributions are few in comparison to Albert's. Yet when Jennie does
write, her comments are sharp and perceptive. Unfortunately, too, Al-
bert was seriously wounded at the Washita and shortly thereafter retired
from active service, a loss to historians who would profit from his fur-
ther observations.
Editor Robert M. Utley, well known for his studies of the frontier
army, has done an excellent job of selecting pertinent letters and jour-
nal entries from the voluminous Barnitz materials. His explanatory
passages tie the diverse materials into a smooth flowing narrative form
often missing in volumes of this kind. Purists may quarrel with the edi-
tor's decision not to interrupt the text with "lengthy footnote digres-
sions" (p. xii); but surely they will agree that the text has been judi-
ciously selected and skillfully presented and provides another important
link in our understanding of the nineteenth-century frontier.
University of Texas at Arlington SANDRA L. MYRES
From Whence We Came. By George W. Pirtle, Sr. (Tyler: Story-Wright,
Inc., 1976. Pp. 217. Preface, illustrations, genealogical chart, bibli-
ography, index. Privately printed for private distribution.)
George William Pirtle is a successful oil man of Tyler, Texas, diligent
in civic and church life, and, importantly, possessed of a life-long inter-
est in his pioneering forebears. During our Bicentennial year, at the age
of seventy-four, he put together and published, in attractive, efficient
format, a genealogical history of his family, going back somewhat more
than two hundred years.
The genealogy or history is more Kentuckian than Texan. The au-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed September 19, 2014.